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July 31, 2015

God Works on Winding Roads

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We are a family of six and live in St. Louis, MO. We have two girls and two boys. We always desired to have a large family, and adoption has been on Jennifer’s heart forever. Over the years, we talked about adopting, but the timing of finances and life circumstances always seemed to stop us. In June, 2013, Jennifer went on a mission trip to China and came home with an even greater desire to adopt. It seemed that God was working through our whole family in making it the perfect time to begin the adoption process. We began our paperwork in August, 2013. When we began this journey, we couldn’t imagine coming up with the huge amount of money that was needed, but we knew we had to be obedient in moving forward. It was amazing to watch God reveal His plans for our family by providing in every … Continue reading

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July 20, 2015

Mission Moment | Like a Family | Bolivia

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“Fundación Esperanza is like a family to me.” – Liz, Transition Home  Liz’s Story Before entering the transition home, Liz worked hard to pay her own tuition for high school. Month after month she spent the first half of each day at her job followed by the second half of her day at school. Both required everything she had, but she made it work. Now that she has entered the transition home, she receives help for her schooling and encouragement for her journey. Liz now feels like she belongs to a family. She considers T.J., the director of Fundación Esperanza, to be like a father and her fellow housemates like her sisters. She is grateful for this sense of acceptance and love. After graduating from high school last year, Liz is now pursuing computer science. She hopes to help other Christian ministries and orphanages with their computer needs. She is a Tia at Fundación … Continue reading

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July 17, 2015

The Story Within a Story {Family Friday}

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The phone call came to me first, but I was driving and couldn’t answer. I received a message from Catholic Charities. Call immediately; there was an adoption possibility that we needed to address in the next couple hours. I pulled off to the side of the road and called. Birthmom was 34 years old with a three-week-old baby boy and a laundry list of red flags. We had received phone calls like this before. One we said no to having our adoption book shown, the other we said yes. Neither of us felt a strong yes or no after hearing the description, so we decided to say yes, placing our trust in God that He would write this child’s story exactly as He wanted. It seemed highly unlikely that an adoption would happen considering neither birthmom nor birthdad wanted to do an adoption. So we went about our day. Later … Continue reading

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July 15, 2015

Wait Gain: 5 Truths for Seasons of Waiting

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Waiting. It doesn’t sound hard, and yet it can be excruciating. Though the word implies sitting still, waiting requires more action than virtually any other assignment from God. Whether you are waiting on adoption or fostering news, or whether you are waiting for something else entirely, here are 5 truths for this season in your life: 1. God wants us to pray. If the direct command to do so (1 Thessalonians 5:17) isn’t enough, the Bible bears a conveyor belt of illustrations that show prayer to be essential. Abraham prayed for Sodom. Moses interceded for Israel. Elijah entreated for prophets. Nehemiah requested for Jerusalem. Paul implored for Philippi. And each prayer was key in accomplishing God’s will. Our mission: Ask! And ask again! 2. God keeps His promises. This is no small achievement since the Bible holds nearly 7,500 of them. What are some of these guarantees? The Lord will give strength to His people (Psalm 29:11). There is … Continue reading

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July 14, 2015

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Camping {Ukraine Update}

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“It was my dream come true; I never felt so great in any of the camps before.” –Yarik (18)  We just finished up the camp for grads and kids from Sakh orphanage and are excited to share an update with you. We know that we are in your prayers constantly … we feel it every day in our work with the kids.  #1: Fun games and recreation!   Summer is the busiest time of year for our VBS camps team. The support and involvement of the local church, especially youth, is very important in our daily orphan care efforts. Our volunteer database is very large and consists of close to 400 people in Kharkiv, Zap, and Chernigiv. For every full-time worker we have 10 volunteers, and they do a lot of work. #2: Great kids and staff! To refresh vision and encourage church youth we organize conferences, weekend retreats, and orphanage visits regularly. Every … Continue reading

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July 10, 2015

An Orphan No More!

Thomas Dan-Janelle Family pic

When we decided to get married, we knew that we wanted to have children in the future and raise them for the Lord. When it was time to grow our family, we experienced challenges. We tried infertility treatments that were unsuccessful. We prayed about it, and the Lord led us to start looking into the adoption option. God planted the idea of adoption in us many years ago. Dan is an adoptee who was placed into a wonderful Christian home at 3 months old. Janelle has been on many international medical missions trips where she has had the opportunity to love, care for, and give dental/medical treatment to orphans in need. In September 2013, the Lord led us to go with Holt International Children’s Services and apply for the China program. The adoption process was a roller coaster ride of emotions. The Lord was faithful and working through our stresses … Continue reading

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July 7, 2015

3 Ways You Can Support Family Preservation

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Easy answers rarely exist when caring for vulnerable children around the world. Thankfully, hard questions can be used by God to cause us to think more deeply and critically about difficult topics. One frequently asked question:  Is it possible to support international adoption and family preservation simultaneously?  We believe the answer is yes! The needs and situations of children are as unique as the children themselves. Adoption is a phenomenal gift for children who need the loving support of a family and have no available option. God has used adoption through the centuries to set the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). Family preservation (also known as orphan prevention) is also a precious gift for families who want to stay together and simply do not have the necessary resources to make it happen. Here are 3 ways to demonstrate commitment to family preservation: 1. Support sustainable business overseas. By supporting farms in Ukraine and … Continue reading

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